The Man who Laughs Part II:  Book 7: The Titaness

If you’re like me, you thought this book would just be Hugo describing Gwynplaine’s fancy, confusing new digs. Fortunately, no he does not.

Gwynplaine comes to the conclusion that he would rather have Dea and his own life back. So he tries to leave the house-mansion-palace thing. However he can’t because he gets lost. Instead of finding an exit he finds the tempting Lady Josiana. Josiana then tries to seduce him. Girl has to work hard because Gwynplaine, while he does want her, he is like a deer in the headlights. He likes the idea of a woman wanting him who can see him, apparently blind devotion isn’t enough.

However Josiana turns a little hateful when a letter comes from the Queen telling her that Gwynplaine is now going to be her husband, which means Gwynplaine isn’t going to fulfill the role of lover but husband and that is too boring, so she leaves.

Lord David then shows up and Gwynplaine learns that his old pal Tom-Jim-Jack, who I never really paid a attention to, is really Lord David, Lady Josiana’s former fiancee and  rear-admiral. And they are half-brothers, Dun-Dun-Dunn.

I did like the part more than most, if only for Josiana’s waxing sexy poetics.

The Man who Laughs Part II:  Book 5: The Sea and fate are Moved by the Same Breathe

Ok, I have to say before I get into this part of the book I read it like a few days ago maybe like a week or so before writing this blog post and I have been doing a lot work cleaning and moving stuff around my house and a family member’s house so I’m just really exhausted so if this post is missing anything major from this part of the book, I’m sorry.

That being said, not a lot happens in this part of the book, shocking I know considering all the action this book has had with its 900 pages about snow on the sea, I kid but still.

Basically we learn the back backstory of Gwynplaine and those people from that doctor dude. The king at the time of Gwynplaine’s parent’s sold him to the child nappers and disfigured him. The doctor then dies right before they were going to execute him.

Barky then takes Gwynplaine to his large and beautiful home where he tells him of his new position in life and offers him a single chance to turn it all down, which he doesn’t. He also going to marry Lady Josiana which I guess is like an insult to her according to Barky and Queen. I think Josiana’s fiancee is now disinherited or something because of Gwynplaine. If you know the particulars of that plot point* leave a comment though my guess is it will probably resurface later. I admit it, I do a lot of skimming, so I do miss stuff.

Oh and at the end of the part Gwynplaine thinks of Dea.  But I mean come on, this is a Victor Hugo novel, I’m sure everything will work out happily from our lovers, all sunshine and roses and general happy romance things.

* I read a spoiler so I sort of know now, tehe, also I got a “delightful” vague spoilery warning, which is why I end the post will sarcasm. As much as I have been complaining about this book, I’m looking forward to the movie versions at least it will clear up parts I have skimmed.

Also a little warning- I’m taking June off from these posts. I’m going to try and finish the book during the break, hopefully, my June could be busy too but a later post will explain why I’m doing this.

So I have thought about it and considered the polls and have decided that I will combine both options and I will just the posts with more chapters at a time hopefully a part at a time. For this post we’re just going to quickly  finish off Part II Book I, which gets us through these English Court Shenanigans, well at least the 12 chapter set-up.

To be honest I really don’t recall much of these chapters. Our old pal  Barkiphedro, I’m going to call him Barky from now on,  plots more against Lady Josiana. The book seems to indicate that he loves her so we have a Frollo-Esmeralda thing and considering deformed supposed main character it very Hunchback-y.

Then I think there is a dual or something, I read or skimmed these chapters a week ago. Okay I re-read the last chapter (a little) and it was boxing match, I mean of course yes, boxing lovely.

Most of chapter 12 describes the boxing match and there is some dialogue and it whatever one guy wins, yay. And at the end of the chapter this is said;

As she left, Josiana took the arm of Lord David, an act which was tolerated amongst people “engaged.” She said to him,–
“It is very fine, but–“
“But what?”
“I thought it would have driven away my spleen. It has not.”
Lord David stopped, looked at Josiana, shut his mouth, and inflated his cheeks, whilst he nodded his head, which signified attention, and said to the duchess,–
“For spleen there is but one remedy.”
“What is it?”
The duchess asked,–
“And who is Gwynplaine?”

Ok, I thought she meant spleen as in her organ which could have been some weird 1860’s slang or something  but silly me, she meant as bad temper or spite which makes more sense. I won’t lie this confused me for a while.

Part II: Book I: The Everlasting Presence of the Past

Part II: Book I; Chapter 1: Lord Clancharlie
Part II: Book I; Chapter 2: Lord David Dirry-Moir
Part II: Book I; Chapter 3: The Duchess Josiana
Part II: Book I; Chapter 4: The Leader of Fashion
Part II: Book I; Chapter 5: Queen Anne

We’re doing something a little different, instead of me going by chapters I’m just going to do it all at once. Why? Well for one thing one these chapter are broken into four parts making them too long and second I’m not sure about these chapters. They have some mild interest like the history and Josiana was amusing but I scarily recall anything work talking about.

I will say some parts remind me of Hunchback, like Josiana being a prude and proud. Though she is not all that much like Esmeralda. Though what REALLY stood out that was like “Hello, I’m Victor Hugo and I wrote Hunchback” were Josiana’s fiancee, Lord David, belonging to a club where they discuss ugly men, oh if only they could have seen Quasimodo. He also belongs to teh Hell-fire club, (snickers). But what really caused he to stop was in the Queen Anne chapter when it said and I quote;

She rather liked fun, teasing, and practical jokes. Could she have made Apollo a hunchback, it would have delighted her.”

Just in case you didn’t know Phoebus is another way to say Apollo. Anyway I hope these chapter add to the plot because true be told I would rather read about Lady Josiana and he court pals and shenanigans that starving freezing child who don’t have names and certainly over descriptions of the ocean. If I wanted to read about the ocean I will read Oceans (Ecosystems (Facts on File)) or I will continue reading Your Inner Fish
which is more about evolution but specific about ocean  are mentioned albeit  frozen ones but it’s very interesting.